The trouble with high cholesterol foods is that they often taste better.
Although the way any food is prepared will influence how it tastes, it seems that a high cholesterol rating gives food an initial advantage in titillating the taste buds.
Popular high cholesterol foods: French fries, hot dogs, hamburgers, potatoe chips...
Yet before jumping to any particular conclusion, it’s also necessary to know what sort of cholesterol we’re talking about.
What kind of cholesterol are we talking about?
The cholesterol that builds up in your body comes from two main sources. The first is cholesterol itself in the food that you’re eating and that comes from animals. The second is saturated fat, which is also typical of animal products. It’s the saturated fat that raises the cholesterol level in your body. We’re talking about the “bad” cholesterol level here, also referred to as LDL (low-density lipoproteins). It’s for this reason that saturated fat thickens the blood and contributes to a higher incidence of heart attacks, and why foods rated as “high cholesterol” and their saturated fat content need to be reduced in terms of what you eat.
Is there any “good” cholesterol?
Yes, because your body both manufactures and needs it. It’s your liver that makes it and it’s quite capable of making all the cholesterol that you need, without you eating any more via animal products such as meat, fish or eggs. So if for example you restricted your food intake to only foodstuffs derived from the plant kingdom, the fact that these foodstuffs do not contain cholesterol of any kind would not affect you.
So is fat good or bad for you?
Like cholesterol, it all depends what sort of fat we’re talking about. It’s the saturated fats that will bump up for “bad cholesterol” level. When that level goes up, clogged arteries and rocketing blood pressure are not far behind. On the other hand, unsaturated fats are rather more beneficial for your body. These are the fats that you find in foodstuffs like nuts and seeds, although nuts for example are also relatively high on calories – so make sure that you’re also getting your quota of exercise to burn those calories off again.
Back to the liver again
Your liver also makes cholesterol in the ratio of about 4 times what you take in from eating. It also makes good cholesterol and bad cholesterol according to what you eat. Eating saturated fats for example makes the liver manufacture bad cholesterol. Be careful with certain plant kingdom foods that happen to be high in saturated fats, because your liver reacts by making bas cholesterol. Coconuts and coconut oil are cases in point. So don’t look just for cholesterol ratings in food that you buy, but make sure that you also pay attention to the rating concerning unsaturated fats.
Now that we know what we’re looking for
High cholesterol is often linked therefore with high saturated fats. That’s why those high cholesterol foods taste good. That’s also why traditional diets evolved to include a lot of red meat, eggs, cookies, pastries and muffins, not to mention all the “tasty” items that come out of food-processing plants. So these are foods to be surveyed and in many cases reduced.
Fast food or seafood?
Now, we’re not suggesting that these are your only choices, but it’s an interesting exercise to see what each has inside in terms of nutritional value or fat and cholesterol content. Seafood for example has some cholesterol content, but helps your liver to go for the protective HDL (high density lipoproteins) because its fat content is polyunsaturated fats, and not the saturated ones. It may be time for that first step to stop eating red meat and poultry as well. And if you’re feeling adventurous, try seaweed – no cholesterol, no fats and tons of healthy benefits.
Recipe for hypertension
Take fast food menus first of all. If you go down to your local fast food restaurant and opt for one of the all-in menus, then you’ll probably eat meat, unaided by white, refined-flour bread with the fiber knocked out of it, abetted by salt content in the sauces and the salad dressing not to mention the fats, plus the muffins or the ice cream, with a knock-out punch from fizzy drinks that dehydrate you, put your kidneys out of whack and make life even harder for your liver. And the side salad? Good, but effectively useless if you persist in eating all the other high cholesterol foods. So now you know the danger, you’ll know what you can cut down on for your health’s sake.
So do avoid high cholesterol foods !